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Watch List Watching

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Heading into the season, we’ll take an in-depth look at all the Auburn players who landed on preseason watch lists.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Sammie Coates is a man.

Coates had the stiff arm of the year when he threw Texas A&M DB De'Vante Harris to the ground like a rag doll. Easily one of the most talented wide receivers Auburn has had in some time, his stats are incredible.

He ranks third in nation in yards per catch (21.5) and averaged 54.1 yards per touchdown. He has 14 receptions of 30+ yards. His 68-yard touchdown catch in the Arkansas State game was a career long, and the first 60+ yard pass play for Auburn since 2010. Coates' 88-yard touchdown reception at Arkansas was the third longest pass play in Auburn history. His 39-yard fourth quarter touchdown in the Iron Bowl tied the game with 32 seconds left to play. Without that catch, there is no "one second" and Chris Davis doesn't streak down the sideline into Auburn history.

Mind-blowing stats like these have landed him on the Maxwell Award (player of the year) and Biletnikoff Award (top wide receiver) watch lists. Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman named Coates the top "freak" in college football. A 4.37 forty time and pull ups with 135 pounds strapped to his belt confirm that title.

Coates should be ready to lead a deeply talented group of wide receivers this fall, and it'll be exciting to see what happens with a more balanced offense and an improved Nick Marshall.

But, there's something else about Sammie Coates.

Sammie Coates is an Auburn Man. When it seemed like no one else would speak for the team, Coates spoke up and tried to take a leadership role in 2012. He has built close relationships with several children battling cancer, including one leukemia patient who calls Coates her "big brother."

So, maybe he wins one of these prestigious awards. He certainly has the skills. Maybe he doesn't win. There's a lot of talent on this team that will be competing for catches. But, Coates does have another chance to be honored--this time for his good character, as a member of  the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. And, maybe that's the best list to land on anyway.